To Jules on your 7th Birthday

Sweet Jules,
I cannot wait to see what God has planned for your life. You are one of the most special little girls I know, and I am thankful that I get to witness your life everyday.

You have a smile and laugh that is contagious. You have the dimples, the curls, and the tan that most wish to have. You are funny and goofy, and you are not afraid to laugh at yourself. You are an amazing sister. You are never boastful, rude, or impatient. You are always so laid back and “go with the flow” in most situations. I strive to be more like you!

What I love most about you is your carefree spirit. No matter what your friends are doing, wearing, or eating, you make your own choices. Other people’s opinions don’t matter, and I pray you keep that quality for the rest of your life. I remind myself often to be more like Jules.

You have one of the most kindest hearts. You remind me a lot of my Maw-Maw Stella. Fun fact: your name was almost Stella :) I’m grateful we chose Jules, though, since it’s unique just like your personality.

I hope you had a blast at your sleepover this past week. You were spoiled with your favorite toy right now – L.O.L. dolls. Thank you for being such a joy in our lives. I love watching you grow and learn, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the world. I love you, sweet girl.

Love, Mom

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TEN.

When I was in sixth grade, I sat in my assigned seat on our school bus. A super cute little bitty fourth grader sat next to me. We talked and quickly became friends. Growing up in a small town, we knew of each other and our families. I knew she had a handsome older brother and remember asking her for his school picture. She brought the photo to me, and I remember staring at his crew cut, his spaced out teeth, this skinnier than a rail handsome boy. I was smitten. Imagine my excitement when she asked me for a sleepover at her house. I would actually get to meet him.

Of course at this sleepover, I was awkward and shy and spoke under by breath. I barely acknowledged he was there, because I was embarrassed at what his sister had been telling him. Obviously I was a little young to date, so the crush phase would have to do for a while. My dreams came true when we became boyfriend and girlfriend four years later.

Surviving high school drama and a long distance college relationship, I answered the easiest question he ever asked me six years later…

During marriage prep, I remember one of the first questions our priest asked us as a couple. “Where do you see yourselves and your relationship in 10 years?” Would I be a horrible wife if I tell you that I can’t remember Seth’s answer? I vividly remember mine, though. I immediately answered, “Sitting on my front porch, swinging on my porch swing, while watching our kids play in the yard.” That’s it. That’s all I ever wanted as a wife and mother…to have a simple and happy life and family.

In the last ten years we’ve:

  • been through pregnancies
  • had our first child…and thought that was so fun we had 2 more
  • changed a bazzillion diapers
  • progressed in both of our jobs
  • built a house
  • grown closer to God
  • had another fur baby
  • been on multiple vacations
  • had a couple of ER visits
  • grieved the death of loved ones
  • gained plenty of new friends 

We’ve been busy. We’ve been challenged. We’ve shed tears through frustration … and then some from laughing so hard.  We’ve grown. 

Married for 10…together for 16…I love that our love story is my favorite. I hope in the next 10 years, we still sit on our patio late at night listening to music while the kids sleep. I hope he still slaps my butt when he passes me in the kitchen. I hope I still start his truck for him on cold mornings. I hope I still get random inappropriate texts.

I may mess up a lot in life…I may be the biggest hot mess around, but I know I made the right decision in marrying my husband. He is a man of God, an involved father, and a supporting partner. As an added bonus, I still look at him and think, “Damn that guy’s hot.”

I am forever grateful that my dream for a marriage and family came true – and that we sit on our front porch often, swinging on the porch swing, while we watch our kids play in the yard.

Everything else – the jobs, the house, the vacations, the absolute chaos…is a complete bonus.

I still pinch myself when I look at the jackpot I won in the marriage department. Lord knows it is not always easy. I don’t know a married couple out there who claims it’s easy and perfect.

But I so enjoy trying.